by Al Cimaglia
September 25, 2021
Summer is gone and now we enter the time of the year where big money is on the line. That is the case tonight, at Woodbine Mohawk Park and at Hawthorne Racecourse. Up North, it's the richest night of racing with a star-studded cast and many competitive stakes. The headliner rolls in Race 9, the Mohawk Million with a $1,000,000 purse. In Stickney, top Illinois breds will compete for purses of over $1,000,000 in the Night of Champions.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
Race 3-Milton Pace-$240,000 Purse
3-Lyons Sentinel (8/5)-This is the best horse and in very sharp form, it would take an-off night or tough trip to not win. There are other talented gals in this field, but they will probably be chasing 2nd place money.
2-JK First Lady (9/2)-If there is an upset this Takter trainee with Dunn steering could be one. Has good gate speed but doesn't always use it. With an alert start this mare could be sitting near the top of the stack and be in striking range down the lane.
6-Rocknificent (7/2)-This Toscano pupil has won only twice this season but has finished 2nd in 6 starts and is usually right there at the wire. Should hit the ticket and has done well at Mohawk.
$12 Exacta-3-2, $4 Exacta 2-3-Total Bet=$16
Race 6-She's a Great Lady-$500,500 Purse
5-Niki Hill (8/5)-Ryder trainee has a perfect record and will be seeking her 5th win of the year. It's difficult to find a flaw in this daughter of Always B Miki but has raced only 4 times. Niki has competed on 3 different size ovals and tonight she will be seeking her 2nd win here.
7-Joyride Hanover (8-1)-This Nifty Norman trainee was very good last week and finished the mile with a 26.1 last quarter and the trip could have been better. Tetrick will be at the controls, is certainly worth using in gimmicks at the morning line price and could surprise.
3-Prohibition Legal (4-1)-This Big Jim filly has been the boss North of the border and has a perfect record (6-6). It wouldn't be a shock to see her win, but the race would need to set-up for her, not sure she possesses the top end speed #5 or #7 yet. But best to respect because she has gone fast enough to win every start and they haven't been tight finishes.
$12 Exacta 5-7, $5 Exacta 7-5, $2 Exacta Box 3-7-Total Bet=$21
Race 7-Metro Pace Final-$824,000 Purse
9-Caviart Camden (3-1)-This post draw wasn't kind but will help the price. Comes off an even effort but that followed a 148.3 world record at the Red Mile. Will look for Gingras to leave, get a good seat and then grind his way around.
8-Tru Blue Lindy (7/2)-Winner in 5 of the last 7 and looks as sharp as that record indicates. The last 2 wins came at the Meadows for new connections. This Cullipher trainee has won 3 of 5 at Mohawk and finished 2nd in the other 2 starts.
6-Wearinmysixshooter (9/2)-Broke in the last race here which was the Nassagaweya and was bet down to 8/5. Comes off a good effort at the Meadows and the trip was bumpy. This is a consistent colt who could offer some value.
$6 Exacta 9/6,8-$4 Exacta 6,8/9-Total Bet=$20
Race 9-Mohawk Million-$1,000,000 Purse
9-Venerable (3-1)-The perfect 7 for 7 record will be tested from this post but a main foe starts further out. Others who deserve respect, the 2, 4 and 6 don't have big gate speed and Miller could get away with a nice early seat. Even from this post her win streak could continue.
10-Selfie Queen (9/2)-This filly likes to race on the point and not sure how Dunn could get there. The Takter trainee would be a major threat with a decent post draw. This looks like a tough spot but has been too sharp to dismiss and will respect the connections.
4-Valentina Blu (12-1)-Usually does her best work on the smaller ovals but has shown at VD and M1 that racing on a big track isn't a hinderance. Gets the post draw edge but will need best to win. Looks like a nice play for exactas and will respect chances for an upset with McCarthy at the controls.
$10 Exacta 9/4, $4 Exacta 10/4, $2 Exacta 4/9,10-Total Bet=$18
Hawthorne Late Pick 4
6-Get E Up (8/5)-This 2-year-old has hit the board in all 7 starts and has taken 4 pictures. Should be a main player once again.
8-Fox Valley Ozzy (3/2)-Ozzy has won 3 straight and 7 of 9 lifetime, Leonard will likely be out and rolling early. This looks like a 2-horse affair, and they could be eye to eye down the lane.
5-Apple Valley (5/2)-Made the 1st start for the Molitor barn in last and rolled the 2nd half in 55.4 with a 26.3 last quarter. Should be forwardly placed and has a nose for the wire.
6-Fox Valley Captiva (7-1)-Broke in last and now trainer Erv Miller's son Marcus steers. Will swing for a solid price and look for a smooth trip. Has the speed to beat this crew and has hit the board in 8 of 10 starts.
7-Dandy's MNM (3-1)-Winner of over $53,000 has been well-traveled. Should be in the mix with a sharp steer and Husted can provide one.
2-Scorecard Dandy (3-1)-Will use from the inside, should have the best chance of beating the choice if Franco does his job and the chalk has a bumpy journey. May look to take control early and with a smooth trip success becomes more likely.
9-Harts Hearts (6/5)-This is the best 3-year-old in this field and should take top honors with a decent trip. But this post could hurt chances if Wilfong doesn't find a close-up seat. Brink trainee may duck and then try to take control near the 1/2 and not look back, this is not a deep group. Has hit the board in 12 of 13 in Stickney with 6 wins but has never drawn further out than post 7.
3-Fox Valley Exploit (5/2)-This Husted trainee has been in sharp form and could get an efficient trip from this post. Should be on the lead or in striking range at the top of the lane and looks like the one to beat.
5-Shelley On My Mind (8-1)-This 6-year-old needs a trip and Bender should be able to work a smooth one from this post. Could shadow #3 and look to sweep by down the lane at a price.
Race 8) 6,8
Race 9) 5,6,7
Race 10) 2,9
Race 11) 3,5
Total Ticket Cost) $12 for $0.50
Check me out on Twitter!